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Proceedings Paper

In situ detection of TNT contamination using electrochemical sensors in cone penetrometer system
Author(s): Ernesto R. Cespedes; Stafford S. Cooper; William M. Davis; William J. Buttner; William C. Vickers
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Paper Abstract

The pyrolysis of TNT and other explosive compounds generates signature compounds that can be efficiently detected by electrochemical sensors. This concept was implemented in the development and testing of a sensor probe for the Site Characterization and Analysis Penetrometer System (SCAPS) for the in situ detection of TNT, RDX, HMX, and other nitrogen-containing soil contaminants. This paper describes the results of laboratory studies and field tests conducted to determine the feasibility of employing electrochemical sensors for detecting subsurface explosives contaminants. A method for the in situ pyrolysis of explosives contaminants in soils was developed, and laboratory tests determined that electrochemical sensing of the pyrolysis products was sensitive, selective, reversible, and capable of broad dynamic range. A penetrometer probe that accommodates the electrochemical sensors (including power supply and signal conditioning electronics), the pyrolyzer unit, the pneumatic components, and geophysical sensors for soil classification was designed and fabricated. Results of tests conducted at the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant during September 1994, which demonstrated the performance of the SCAPS sensor under actual field conditions, are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 January 1995
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2367, Optical Sensors for Environmental and Chemical Process Monitoring, (19 January 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.199675
Show Author Affiliations
Ernesto R. Cespedes, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (United States)
Stafford S. Cooper, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (United States)
William M. Davis, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (United States)
William J. Buttner, Transducer Research, Inc. (United States)
William C. Vickers, Transducer Research, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2367:
Optical Sensors for Environmental and Chemical Process Monitoring
Ishwar D. Aggarwal; Stuart Farquharson; Eric Koglin, Editor(s)

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